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YNAB is growing, and so is our product team. We’re a software ecosystem that includes personal budgeting apps for web, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Android phones. Our mission is to help our users take total control of their money—not just by using an app (if only it were that easy!), but changing habits and ways of thinking.
You’re the one we’re looking for if you’re collaborative, results-oriented, creative, and disciplined. You love solving complex problems both internally and for our users, and know what it means to build a mature, evolving product. You’re customer-centric and have a knack for developing a deep understanding of their needs. You could say the same about understanding the needs a SaaS business like YNAB faces and the larger market landscape, too. You probably organize things in your sleep, and enjoying making sense out of seeming chaos — but you’re also comfortable living in spots where messy is THE place to be. You communicate for a living and you know it, so you understand the language of development and design, marketing and support—and you do it well in all mediums, from face-to-face, to long-form, to comments in a Figma file. You expound on decision-making strategies for too long at summer barbeques, but somehow keep people listening.
Requirements (these are real, actual requirements):
- You must have at least five years working in the software industry, three of which you’ve been in the role of a product manager. Complex or data-rich applications are a plus.
- You must have experience in cross-functional product development. And we really mean that cross-functional part.
That’s a super-brief intro to what you’ll be working on. But first, you need to know if you’ll even like working with us. We think you will.
A Bit About Us
We build YNAB (or “You Need a Budget” if you have a lot of extra time on your hands), the best budgeting software around. For more than a decade, people have been buying YNAB and then telling their friends what a difference it has made in their lives. (Google us, or read some of our reviews on the app store, and you’ll see what we mean.) We love building something that has a huge positive impact on people’s lives.
We’re profitable, bootstrapped, and growing. YNAB started in 2004 and we haven’t taken any outside funding—we’re in it for the long haul.
We have one overarching requirement when it comes to joining our team: our original Cultural Manifesto has to really click with you. If you’re nodding emphatically while reading it, you’ll probably fit right in, in which case, we can’t wait to hear from you!
First, let’s talk about life at YNAB and then we’ll go into detail about what we’re looking for.
Who you’d be working with:
We’re talking product manager here, so you’d be working with a lot of different people. We can’t even list them all, really.
You’ll be reporting to Todd, our Chief Product Officer. He obsesses about continuously improving our products and the experiences they enable—especially any magic to make YNAB simpler to adopt and more powerful in the long run, too. He’ll have any conversation where he has the chance to learn something, loves greyscale to an irrational extent, and enjoys ideas for their own sake. He likes long gaps of silence and very loud music, running ultramarathons, and wants to disappear someday to make hand-crafted furniture.
And as we said above, you’ll also cross paths with–well–probably everyone else. People like Buffy and Sebastian (a couple of our developers), Alan (a designer), and Angela (our Director of Customer Support). Also, our other new product manager, who we haven’t met yet, either.
How You’ll Work at YNAB
We work really hard to make working at YNAB an amazing experience. We have a team full of truly exceptional people—the kind you’ll be excited to work with. Here’s how we operate:
Live Where You Want
We’re a distributed team, so you can live and work wherever you want. Proximity doesn’t influence productivity. Just make sure you have a reliable internet connection.
No Crazy Hours
We rarely work more than 40 hours per week. There have been a few occasions where things got a little crazy and people had to log some extra hours. But then they took some extra time off, so it all balances out. We work hard and smart but we’re in this for the long haul, no need to go crazy on the hours.
Take Vacation (Seriously)
We want you to take vacation. In fact, we have a minimum vacation policy of three weeks per year. Five weeks feels about right (plus two extra weeks for Holiday break). It’s important to get out and do something. We’ll look forward to seeing pictures of your vacation in our internal chat room, creatively named #office_wall.
The YNAB Retreat
We get the teams together once a year to catch up on spreadsheets and powerpoints in a Best Western conference room. Just kidding. So far, we’ve done Costa Rica, a gigantic cabin in the mountains, a beach house in the Outer Banks, a ranch in Montana, and took over a hotel on Laguna Beach. We do really fun things at these retreats, but the highlight is inevitably just being with each together and having a blast.
Up Your Game
We’re serious about helping you improve your craft. We budget for it (hey-o!). Think conferences, Lynda/Skillshare subscriptions, books, and dedicated time away from work to learn something new….We love to see our people grow.
International is Absolutely Okay
You’ll be set up as a contractor. Employee or contractor, it’s all the same to us. You’re part of the team. As for time zones, we’re flexible as long as a decent chunk of your time overlaps with North American time zones.
If You’re Stateside…
You’ll be a W2 employee with fantastic health, dental, and vision insurance, where we cover 100% of the premium for you and your family. (No need to check your vision, you read that right, 100%. Although if you did need to check your vision, no big deal, we’ve got you covered!)
We also have Traditional and Roth 401k options. YNAB contributes three percent whether you choose to throw any money in there or not. It vests immediately. (Are you a personal finance junkie like Jesse? He set up YNAB’s 401k to have the lowest fee structure possible, where all plan costs are paid by YNAB, not your retirement nest egg. The investment funds available are fantastic, passively-managed, ultra low-cost index funds. You’re not a personal finance junkie? Then trust us, it’s great.)
- Once you start, we DEMAND (in a friendly, ALL CAPS IS YELLING way) that you fill out your “Bucket List” spreadsheet with 50 items. (That’s harder than it sounds!)
- The bucket list helps in deciding what we should give you for your birthday and Christmas: No gift cards here. We tried that. Super boring.
- We have a bonus plan based on profitability. You’ll be in on that from day one. YNAB wins, you win. That kind of thing.
- We’re all adults. There’s no need to punch a clock, or ask for permission to take off early one afternoon to go see the doctor (health insurance premium 100% covered!). We look at what you’re accomplishing, not how long you sit (have you tried standing?) in front of a computer.
- We want you firing on all cylinders so we’ll set you up with a shiny new computer and replace it every three years.
- Did I mention we make a huge, positive difference in people’s lives? We have a Slack channel where we share success stories from our customers daily. It’s amazing. Don’t underestimate this one!
If this sounds like your ideal environment, read on because now we want to talk about you. You will play a big part in helping YNAB delight users and give them control of their money. You will change lives.
Now, back to you, our new Product Manager…
What Success Looks Like:
At YNAB, our goal is for every user to achieve life-changing financial control. No small thing, right? In 2019, we’ll focus intensely on making YNAB effortless and helping new budgeters get started effectively, from their very first experience…Success means you get the best ideas and the best outcomes out of our cross-functional teams, and regularly ship real value to our users.
You’ll also help us develop systems and processes to more efficiently deliver top-notch, dare we say life-changing, experiences to our users. We’ve been growing. A lot. And that means an evolving product structure—you’ll work closely with Todd, our CPO, and with another new-to-YNAB product manager to continue building that structure out, blending the best of who we are with who we can be.
You’ll need to:
- Understand the user journey, not just as they use our apps, but in the real world as they seek to take control of their financial lives.
- Understand deeply that “cross-functional” isn’t code at YNAB for “designers and engineers.” We’ve doubled down on our best ideas coming from anywhere, and Support, Marketing, and Education are equal members of our flat product teams.
- Along those lines, you’ll learn the design principles and financial logic of our apps like the back of your hand. You’ll learn our engineering processes like the back of your other hand. Then you’ll find another hand or three for internalizing our brand, marketing strategies and support ethic.
- Shepherd your team’s work from discovery to ideation to release to follow-up (because you know how much product work happens after release), documenting decisions the team has made along the way. In particular, you’ll work hand-in-hand with a product designer on your team to jointly develop vision, prioritize, and execute on strategy.
- Synthesize and make sense of ALL THE DATA and information about our products, for yourself and to help others across the organization make better decisions. You’re fluent in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.
- Be comfortable with multiple discovery techniques and strategies in your quest to make YNAB consistently better. You enjoy talking to customers in user interviews and usability testing. You have a knack for summarizing research in a concise way to share with teammates.
- Communicate, explain, persuade, explore and otherwise get all the things done in writing. Yes, we like talking to each other, but as a remote team, much of our collaboration is asynchronous and written.
- You’re intensely curious. Period.
- Oh, also, not to the exclusion of anything else, but you’re intensely curious about how people learn, how they change and develop habits, and how behavior inside a product might change behavior outside it.
- You’re comfortable speaking the language of software development and product design. If you’re also comfortable diving into HTML and CSS (or even one of the programming languages in our development stack!), that’s a plus, but it’s not a requirement. Conversant across all disciplines is key.
- Be a curious, persistent, and a quick learner, staying ahead of new ideas, technologies and other opportunities to help YNAB users take total control of their money, even sleep better at night.
- Manage key partner relationships, from day-to-day communication to contract negotiation and management.
Finally, your success as a product manager at YNAB hinges upon your ability to approach product development as holistic simultaneous problem solving of both user and business goals. We work collaboratively here so you’ll listen to ideas, questions, and critiques from teammates with grace and patience. That said, you know your stuff and can eloquently and logically explain decisions. You see this type of exchange as critical to the success of yourself and our users: It is through sharing ideas and being open to the brilliance of others that we arrive at the best solutions.
And, since our job descriptions are already so long, what’s another sentence or two…
YNAB is an equal opportunity employer. We believe diversity of backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences to be critical to our success and are passionate about creating a welcoming, supportive, and collaborative environment for all employees. All are encouraged to apply as we continue to grow a smart, hard-working, and diverse team who love working together to build something that matters.
How to Apply
- Apply here by 11:59PM on June 23rd, 2019. Firm. It’s a real deadline. Like, after it is too late.
- Attach a PDF of your cover letter. In your cover letter:
- Introduce yourself and explain why this position is of interest to you, and why you would be a great fit.
- We love someone with a perspective about product development. Tell us, in one paragraph, about the difference between a good mistake and a bad mistake.
- Include the word “mistake” somewhere in your cover letter.
- If you have a prepared resume, attach it in PDF form. If you don’t have a resume because you aren’t even sure you’re looking to change jobs, that’s fine! An informal list of your work and education history are all we’re looking for.
P.S. If you’re not interested in or available for this position, but know someone who might be, we would really appreciate it if you passed this along!